During the past three years I have studied cloud computing. I’ve tried Grid systems, Amazon, Rackspace, and a dozen other self managed and managed solutions but one thing remains true. It’s just not what it should be…at least yet. As a business owner and entrepreneur you get caught up in the hype of the latest and greatest technologies. Cloud Computing is no different. Its just a fancy buzz word that cost more than what a managed co-lo solution can offer.
In fact, this fact remains true for nearly every single cloud implemented solution I have read or studied with one great exception. Netflix has their act together. If you read their developer blog, you will quickly learn the struggles they went thru to pull of their cloud implementation but in the end, most can’t afford the half a million monthly budget they have so for now. I will keep my head out of the cloud and stick with simpler technologies until the monthly price becomes more reasonable.
My latest discovery is www.macminivault.com which provides dedicated co-location of mac-mini servers. You invest a flat $999 into your own piece of hardware. A few extra hundred a month and you get all the bells and whistles. All in all, I no have 8 mac-mini servers running my technologies. It was a painful upfront cost but I now enjoy the luxury of paying $30 per server per month. Which comes to less than $300 a month once you factor fees and extra IPs.
With Rackspace, I am paying upwards of $250/month for a single cloud server plus dozens of other servers with Amazon and Grid.
To say all that, in my own experience, I can handle nearly 20 times the volume of traffic at nearly 1/17th the monthly cost by implementing my own dedicated co-lo solutions with MacMiniVault.
Now I understand that you might not be a geek like myself but the nice thing about Mac web servers is they are so freakin’ easy to setup and customize. They provide graphical interfaces and remote point and click administration. ANYONE who can operate a mac can run a mac-mini server. And the best part of all, for command-line junkies like myself, I have written my own scripts and auto-compilers to replace pre-configured software so adding a new mac to my cluster takes a few minutes.
So the next time you are wanting to make a change with your hosting solution or experiencing rapid growth…don’t rule out the tried and true solutions that are available out there.
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